Two Strathclyde scholars are among ten to be selected for prestigious Formula 1 Engineering Scholarships.

The scholarships were launched following a US$1 million donation from Non-Executive Chairman of Formula 1, Chase Carey.

The Formula 1 programme will now be extended for a further four years, enabling scholarships to be offered to 10 more students from underrepresented groups each year until 2025.

Increase diversity

They will study undergraduate and postgraduate engineering degrees at universities in the UK and Italy. The initiative aims to increase diversity and inclusion across Formula 1, and is part of a wider drive within the sport.

Each scholarship covers the full cost of a student’s tuition, together with living expenses, for the full duration of their degree.

Inaugural scholarship students Spogmai Bibi and Patrick Okedion have begun placements in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Strathclyde and have urged others to apply.

Spogmai said: “The scholarship has already been a great help. I live in a small house with seven family members and so space and time to study was difficult and commuting to the University costly.

“The scholarship allowed me to move into accommodation of my own, close to the University, lifting the financial strain off my family.

“Now I can worry less about money and focus on my studies and improve the quality of my education.”

Patrick said: “Being fortunate enough to have been awarded this scholarship boosted my determination and enthusiasm even further to overcome any tough times throughout my academic years.

“The scholarship has helped me focus more on my studies and experience an enjoyable time at university rather than having to rely on other commitments which would have then resulted in stress and loss of study time.

“I strongly encourage any undergraduate to consider applying.”

 Dr Stephanie McKendry, the Head of Access, Equality & Inclusion, said: “The University of Strathclyde is a socially progressive institution that strives to ensure equality of opportunity and celebrates the diversity of its student and staff community. 

“We were delighted to partner with Formula 1 in offering scholarships to talented applicants from under-represented backgrounds and Spogmai and Patrick are worthy recipients of this prestigious award.” 

The first 10 scholars were selected by the programme’s initial partner universities, which also includes the University of Cambridge, Coventry University, Manchester Metropolitan University, MUNER – The Motorvehicle University of Emilia Romagna and the University of Oxford.

Employment opportunities

Formula 1 has also committed to creating employment opportunities by offering apprenticeships and internships across the business, and Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 said: “We are committed to increasing diversity and opportunity within this incredible sport and I am pleased to confirm that we will be expanding our programme for scholars until 2025, providing a fantastic opportunity for some incredibly talented students to begin their journeys with Formula 1.

“We want to continue to ensure that talent from underrepresented groups has meaningful opportunities, with the first ten scholars already beginning their studies following Chase’s incredible donation to fund the scholars in their first year.”